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Response to Henig and Sunstein

lksmith's picture

                As I read the article by Henig, I couldn’t help but think about how, through all of that research, we have yet to discover the real purpose of play. Yes, many benefits and disadvantages to play were listed and explained, but play is still referred to as pointless. In one part the question was brought up of why play has survived so long through natural selection if there is no apparent use for it. Having said this, I thought it was fascinating to read about all of the effects of childhood play. I never would have guessed that play has such a crucial role in the growth and development of the brain. The experiment where some rats were allowed to play freely and others were deprived of play was surprising to me because I would not have expected the actual brain functions of the deprived rats to be less developed. Overall, this article was full of interesting findings, even though combined they lead to no real conclusion regarding the purpose of play.

                The article by Sunstein was also very intriguing to me because of its relevance in the current digital age. In Oregon, the state newspaper is reducing the number of newspapers published each week from seven to only four. This article made me think about all the benefits of having a daily newspaper and how the reduction in service will affect my own personal awareness and that of the people in the rest of the state. The less people that have access to newspapers, the more narrow society’s understanding of the world will be because people will favor online news sources that cater to their interests even more than before. People will begin to lose their openness to new and different things and become trapped by what is familiar to them.